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Germany asks Tesla to stop ads with 'misleading' Autopilot term

Tesla maintained it had always been clear that the driver's hands must be on the steering even during the autopilot mode. Photograph: (AFP)

WION Berlin, Germany Oct 16, 2016, 03.13 PM (IST)

Germany, which has been conducting an investigation into electric carmaker Tesla, has asked the firm to stop using "autopilot" term in its advertisements, saying it leads to false customer expectations. 

Transport regulator KBA has written to the company, telling it: "In order to prevent misunderstandings and false expectations from clients, we are asking that the misleading term 'Autopilot' no longer be used in advertisements for the system."

Last week, Tesla had said the company did not intend to mislead its customers and have always been clear that the "Autopilot" function is a driver's assistance system that requires the driver to pay attention at all times. 

The system allows the vehicle to automatically change lanes, manage speed and brake to avoid a collision. The system may be overridden by the driver.

The system had come under scrutiny following two fatal crashes, one in northern China in January and another in the US state of Florida in May.

In September, a Tesla electric car crashed into a tourist bus on a motorway in northern Germany, lightly injuring the driver who said he had activated the vehicle's autopilot system. 

(WION with inputs from agencies)
 

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